Recently I was looking for some very important papers I’ve somehow misplaced. I searched through my storage shed, my office, and every drawer in my house, but I have yet to come across them. Interestingly though, I accomplished a lot of other things during that search. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can turn one task into several. In other words, while my main goal was to find those papers, I ended up doing a bit of spring cleaning. Hoping to free up some storage space, I set a huge trash bag near the storage shed and began to fill it up with things I no longer needed.
I didn’t realize it was going to be so hard to do.
I came across some letters and pictures I’d been holding onto for several years, not wanting to let go of the memories they carried. These particular keepsakes represented people who had once cared for me but are now out of my life, mainly due to mistakes I’ve made. I suppose I kept them so I could relive the good memories…but in doing so, I had to relive the bad ones too.
Now, holding those mementos over the trash bag, I wondered where those people were and what was going on in their lives. And I wondered if they ever thought of me.
And I dropped the items into the trash.
As I did so, I actually began to feel better. It was time to let go of what might have been and move on.
God does a similar thing. In His wisdom, He doesn’t hoard our sins. He drowns them in the sea of forgetfulness. Thank goodness! Can you imagine the hurt He would have to endure if He didn’t forget them? Our sins hurt God. But He tells us to confess them and ask His forgiveness, so He can let them go and forget them. When we do, we discover that we can also be free from the affects they have on us. Holding on to things that cause you pain is a cruel thing to do to yourself.
Are you ready to be free? Then it’s time to cast your cares—the things you are holding onto—upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).
And then, look ahead; follow the Apostle Paul’s example in Philippians 3:13–14:
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
If you are clinging to souvenirs that continually remind you of your mistakes and failures, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Dump those old things and give God that space in your heart and soul. He will fill it with good things that will free you from your past and move you into the incredible plans He has for you.
Still looking for those papers…
by Kenny Munds
Photo by Shane Rounce